Ringworm Symptoms, Treatments & More

Author
By diane
Reviewed
Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. 'Ringworm.' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 Dec. 2020, www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/ringworm/.
  • 2. 'Stay Healthy at Animal Exhibits.' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 June 2019, www.cdc.gov/healthypets/specific-groups/stay-healthy-animal-exhibits.html.
  • 3. 'Ringworm.' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 Dec. 2020, www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/ringworm/.
  • 4. 'Ringworm (Scalp).' Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 7 Mar. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ringworm-scalp/symptoms-causes/syc-20354918.
  • 5. 'Ringworm (Body).' Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 13 Sept. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ringworm-body/symptoms-causes/syc-20353780.
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Ringworm is a very common infection of the skin or nails caused by a fungus, not a worm. The condition is called ringworm because it usually appears as a red, itchy circular rash shaped like a ring.

Ringworm is medically known as tinea or dermatophytosis. Many different types of ringworm are named for the areas of the body that they affect. For example, many people are familiar with tinea pedis, more commonly called athlete’s foot. Because ringworm spreads easily from one person to another, it’s important to recognize the symptoms and seek early treatment.

1. Ringworm of the Body

About 40 different species of fungi can cause ringworm. Symptoms typically appear four to 14 days after contact with the skin and vary by location on the body.1‘Ringworm.’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 Dec. 2020, www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/ringworm/. Because fungus thrives in warm, moist areas, the feet are commonly affected.

Ringworm associated with athlete’s feet can produce red, cracked skin between the toes, stinging pain and blisters that ooze or crust. The toenails may also become thick, discolored and crumbly. Another common type of ringworm of the body affects the beard. In this case, itchy, scaly red spots appear on the cheeks, chin and neck, and facial hair may fall out.

Ringworm

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